" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... sentenced to death by a Fianna Fail administration in Leinster House , in June 1940 , Tomas Og MacCurtain had his sentence commuted to one of penal servitude for life , in July 1940 .......

It has since been alleged that a sister of Cathal Brugha's widow , who was then the Reverend Mother of an Armagh Convent , had requested that her 'boss' , Cardinal MacRory , should 'speak to' Eamon de Valera about the case . This , if indeed it did happen , and the fact that Tomas Og's father had actually shouldered a gun alongside many members of the then Fianna Fail administration (before they went Free State , obviously) , saved his life . And that's the end of that 'tangent' on Tomas Og MacCurtain !

Tomas MacCurtain (Snr) , the Lord Mayor of Cork , was shot dead by a gang of masked men on 15th March 1920 ; his killers wore civilian clothes and all spoke with English accents - it later transpired that they were members of the RIC who had been recruited into that British police force in England : they were some of the 7,000 men thus recruited to tackle the IRA .

The quick expansion of the RIC meant that there was not enough of the bottle-green coloured uniforms to go around , so the new recruits were allowed to mix a khaki-coloured trouser or jacket to wear with whatever standard-issue piece of clothing they aready had . They were first seen in County Tipperary and were named , by the Irish , after a famous pack of hunting-hounds in that County - the Black and Tans !

These 'policemen/soldiers' were also issued with black belts and caps , and were a vicious lot .......


By Vincent Browne .

First published in 'Magill' magazine , April 1982 , pages 4 and 5 .
Re-published here in 8 parts .
(3 of 8).

" ..... on floor , on back , hands stretched backwards . Chair put on palms . (Garda A) sits on chair . Spits on face . Leering . Cried . Frightened . Don't know what they are going to do to me . Very tired , sore , ears ringing , bad headache , stomach sick , afraid of my life . (Garda A) produced black-jack , beaten by (Garda E) on biceps . Left on table . Black lathe 10 inches long , 1 inch in diameter , flexible , swish noise . "Own up , make statement ..." . Beaten above the knee ......."

Dr. Sean O'Cleirigh , an independent doctor , examined Nicky Kelly in Mountjoy Jail hours after this ordeal and gave the following evidence in court : he found extensive bruising on Kelly's outer arms from the shoulder to the elbow ; there were also bruises over the left shoulder blade , over the ribs , over the pubic bone and on his left hip and thigh . The doctor found extensive bruising over the mastoid bone of the left ear , which itself was also bruised . The ear area was also slightly bruised - all of these bruises were tender . He said Kelly was very apprehensive at the time .

The prison doctor then examined Nicky Kelly .......


By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'Magill' magazine , October 1985 , pages 9,10 and 11.
Re-published here in 13 parts.
(5 of 13).

The Free State 'Supreme Court' had previously dealth with a case in which a priest , Fr. Brendan Burns , admitted to holding 130 sticks of gelignite for the IRA -

- " It seems to me , " said Justice Finlay in that case in 1974 , " that the safe keeping of explosives for an organisation attempting to overthrow the state by violence is , according to that test , an offence of a political character . "

But prior to John Patrick Quinn's extradition , there had been other developments - Quinn is a fish dealer in Ballina where he lives with his wife and three children . In July 1983 , Detective Constable Kevin Tooher and Detective Inspector John Barnes , both from London , turned up in Ballina to interview John Patrick Quinn .

He finally flew to London on March 1st of this year (1985) , following the 'Supreme Court' decision , to face fraud charges relating to a sum of £600 ; he was interviewed by police on his arrival and thereafter transferred to Wormwood Scrubbs Prison .

Quinn was classified a ' High Security Category 'A' prisoner' and spent twenty-three hours a day in solitary confinement .......